Friday, 8 May 2009

Monitor the online buzz around your brand

How to ensure you know what people are saying about your brand in social media, and what you can do to influence the conversation.

This was the title of a panel debate about buzz monitoring at Internet World 2009. Chaired by Tom Nixon of NixonMcInnes, with his colleague and two other speakers whose names I can't remember, one from Huddle, one from Attentio.


Get EVERYONE in your company engaged. Get everyone monitoring your brands, or the brands relevant to them. The more eyes you have out there the more you will pick up and the less you will miss.

Some tools to help you monitor your brands
Twitter Search
  • Google Alerts - Type in a search term, such as your brand, and set up an email alert or RSS feed.
  • Twitter Search - Search for terms and brands to find real time discussions on Twitter.
  • Google Trends - Monitor regional interest in topics and their appearance in Google News.
  • Technorati - Search the blogosphere for your terms and brands. Google Blog Search also does this, although not quite as well.
  • Trendpedia - Free tool from Attentio who was one of the speakers. Not sure of effectiveness but worth a play.
  • Company Buzz - Application on LinkedIn. Essentially it's just Twitter Search.
Tools to aggregate some of this content to you

There are lots of tools to monitor buzz but having to go from one to the other every day would be very time consuming so there are a variety of methods to get this information to come to you.
Newspaper with the word RSS on it
  • Email alerts - this is part of Google Alerts and obviously lets you get the information to your inbox. Any RSS feed can also be set up as an email alert with a variety of tools, Feedburner is a good one.
  • RSS readers - most if not all of the tools above output RSS feeds of your results. You can plug these into a reader such as Netvibes and iGoogle.
  • Addictomatic – This is an RSS reader with a difference. It's automatically set up to look at a number of sources and tools. Just type in your brand or terms, here's one I made earlier for number 1 breakfast spread, Bovril.
  • RSS manipulation - you can combine, change, filter and do pretty much anything with RSS feeds using Yahoo Pipes. It's not that simple for non-techies though, here's my short demo.
Things to bear in mind
Pack of Camel cigarettes
A pack of fags
A camel looking curiously
A mammal
  • Setting up an alert for a brand which can also mean something else may bring irrelevant results: For example "Camel" can mean the cigarettes and the mammal with a hump.
  • You could therefore nail it down by searching for "Camel cigarettes"
  • Or look for buzz where both the words "Camel" + "smoking" are used
  • And don't forget there may be other non brand names you can monitor, such as your CEO's name, any campaigns you are running, competitions you are doing, anything else about your brand that might be being talked about.
  1. If someone is interested in your product, the sales team can act on this and chase.
  2. If there are problems or issues with your brand then the relevant people can address these. Such as customer services or your technical support employees.
  3. People like to know they are being taken care of.
  4. Respond with AUTHENTICITY and have a clear consistent VOICE
  6. This is a representative of your brand talking, don't reflect badly on the brand by being petulant or of no use.
  7. Also remember that it's just people you are talking do, ditch the sales and marketing speak, be yourself.
Related posts
YouTube, Facebook, BBC, Reuters discuss social media (Feb 09)
Stop pop-ups popping up, online advertising needs to evolve (Nov 07)
Aren't Google Alerts clever? (Nov 07)

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